The Abbey Newsletter

Volume 8, Number 5
Oct 1984

CLR to Work on National Preservation Strategy

The Exxon Education Foundation has made available $1.5 Million to the Council on Library Resources for a long-term program to preserve essential holdings of American research libraries. Funded activities include formation of a Mid-Atlantic Preservation Center, development of national strategies for preservation, and an information program to help generate public support.

The new national emphasis on preservation originated at meetings in 1982 and 1983 sponsored by CLR the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Association of American Universities. Participants asked the Council to draw on those discussions to begin the planning process for a national strategy for retrospective preservation.

CLR's outline plan enumerates five requirements for the strategy:

  1. A method for establishing principles, formulating policy and priorities, and meeting specified objectives.
  2. Acknowledgment of the cost of, and securing funding for, expanded preservation activity.
  3. Additional production facilities for conservation treatment and content preservation, and expanded efforts to recruit and train conservators.
  4. Expanded research capabilities to develop more effective uses of technologies, formulate efficient operating modes, and undertake economic planning.
  5. An expanded educational and informational program to promote understanding and support for commitment of public funds to protect society's intellectual heritage.

The Council will fund a preservation committee to guide initial work and focus on funding, technical research, and extending understanding of preservation needs. Margaret Child, assistant director for research services, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, will coordinate the committee's work.

Copies of the outline plan, titled 'Preserving Our Intellectual Heritage: General Directions and Next Steps," have been distributed to ARL directors. A limited number of copies is available from CLR.

[Adapted from the story, "Exxon Awards Preservation Grant," on page 3 of CLR Recent Developments, June 1984.]

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